As Ireland and the UK re-enter Coronavirus/Covid-19 lockdown, many retail outlets not deemed ‘essential’ have had to close their doors again, or resume doing business online or via click-and-collect. One of these non-essential businesses, unfortunately, is my absolute favourite: Bookshops.
I’m not going to get into the philosophical ins-and-outs of how essential books are (to my mind, they’re next to air and food and water), because – of course – the primary consideration here is keeping bookshop staff and customers safe during this time of crisis. Having said that, though, there are a lot of people who do need books, and there are a lot of bookshops who desperately need customers, and so in order to do a small bit to help, the author Holly Bourne got several of us writery-types together in a campaign to help bookshops and customers survive Lockdown II. I’m proud to be doing a small bit to help.
The campaign involves authors committing to send signed bookplates to customers who buy their books from an independent bookshop during the period of lockdown, and/or sending signed bookplates to bookshops who’d like some (while stocks last!) So, in order to play my part, I’m offering to send a signed bookplate to the first ten customers in the UK or Ireland who:
- Buy one (or both) of my books from an independent bookshop (ideally) during the period of lockdown in their country;
- Send me a photo of their proof of purchase, along with their postal address and the name/s they’d like me to put on the bookplate/s;
- Are willing to wait a week or two to receive their post from me (soz).
I’ll also be reaching out to some of my favourite bookshops to see if they’d like a bookplate or two, but if you’re reading this and you’re running an indie bookshop anywhere in Ireland or the UK and you’d like a couple of signed bookplates from me, drop me a line.
This CONTACT ME page is the best way to get in touch. https://sjohart.wordpress.com/contact-me/
Some other things to consider:
For the purposes of this campaign, books bought on Amazon or Book Depository won’t count (though I thank you very much for your purchase). The campaign aims to support bricks-and-mortar bookshops.
I’m happy to send a bookplate in whichever design you prefer – I have a snazzy blue-and-tentacle one for The Eye of the North and a super-dooper gold-purple-starry-webby one for The Star-Spun Web, but neither plate has the name of the book on it so feel free to take your pick.
Stocks of bookplates are, sadly, limited so, if you’d like one, the sooner the better you get in touch.
Follow along on Twitter – the hashtag is #SignForOurBookshops – and if you fancy shouting about the campaign and throwing us a bit of support, that would be fab.
Meanwhile: Keep on reading!